Those of you who read my blog “Resisting the Devil” will recall the Scriptural foundation for our discussion was 1 Peter 5:8-9. At the time I was preparing that blog, I felt an urgency to continue reading to the end of that chapter. We usually quote 1 Peter 5:8-9 and don’t usually give much attention to verses 10 & 11. As I read these verses, Romans 8:28 came to mind.
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
He did indeed say ALL things. Which takes me back to 1 Peter 5:10. Even when the devil seeks to make you suffer, God uses that suffering to bring about victory and maturity in your life. Even as the devil seeks to destroy you, as a child of God the grace (unmerited divine assistance) of God causes that same suffering to perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you. Your triumph over suffering actually builds greater trust in the awesomeness of your God and you become even more committed and steadfast in your walk with Him. You see and experience God’s glory and dominion over the enemy and the destruction he sought for your life and that of your family (1 Pet. 5:11).
But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you. To Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Pet. 5:10-11)
1 Peter 5:10-11 has given me a new perspective, a new mindset, about suffering in the life of a surrendered Christian. With this newly found understanding of the positive work that suffering does to build character in my life and your life I am now better able to appreciate how James could link joy and trials (James 1:2-4). I used to read these verses and feel James was just a bit too spiritual for my liking 🙂 Count it all joy when you go through diverse trials? Really!? It is now my testimony, as I look back at my own life, that it was indeed through the trials and not the successes in my life that I gained the most growth in faith and character. These were painful times indeed but have worked for me a far more eternal weight of glory. So, like James, I can rejoice in my diverse trials. Look back at your own life and I am sure you can also join with me.
If we are to truly know Jesus Christ, we have to be bonded to Him by understanding some of the suffering He went through on our behalf. We gain full access to the power that has become available to us through Jesus’ resurrection only as we fellowship with Him through suffering. It is through suffering that we are perfected and come into the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Phil. 3:10-11)
till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; (Eph. 4:13)